Sunday, July 27, 2014

Seventh Thought - Matchmaking

   I really wonder why matchmaking has become so popular in games that don't need them. It's good for MOBAs since it would be difficult to set the game up in a way where people could join and leave a match whenever they wanted. It's alright for console games, too, since console players probably don't want to be bothered with searching through a lobby list with a gamepad.

   But then we get to games like Nosgoth and GunZ 2. Why do these games have matchmaking? These games wouldn't break if someone left and another person entered in their place. They are also exclusive to PC. What's the point of this?

   Some people may wonder why I think this is a problem. It's a problem because the presence of matchmaking automatically creates one problem and contributes to another.
   The problem it creates is the often-raged "bad matchmaking". You're level 1, you get matched against level 50s. You're level 50, you get matched against level 1s. This problem is always explained away as being caused by a small community and will improve as soon as the game gets more people.
   Which is the problem it contributes to. Aside from people joining the game and getting hazed by players far above them, there's also the lack of custom rooms meaning you can't just jump right in. No more instant access, you just click a big Play button and then proceed to not Play. Not everyone is willing to stand for this, and the smaller the community is the bigger the problem is.

   Some people may like clicking a button and then alt-tabbing to do something else while the game takes 5+ minutes to find and load a match, but I prefer to actually play my games.

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